Fratangelo, Smyczek To Play For Champaign Challenger Title

Bjorn Fratangelo advances to the final in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN, November 18, 2017

Tim Smyczek and Bjorn Fratangelo will meet in an all-US-American singles final of the $75,000 JSM Challenger Champaign-Urbana held at the Atkins Tennis Center on Saturday.

Smyczek earned a gritty 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 win over fourth seed Cameron Norrie from Great Britain. The 29-year-old from Tampa struck 11 aces, winning 52 per cent of the total points played to prevail after two hours and 17 minutes.

Fratangelo rallied from a set down to overcome compatriot and third favourite Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The World No. 117 from Orlando saved three of the four break points he faced, capitalizing on three of his own to secure victory in one hour and 32 minutes.

Smyczek won all four previous meetings between the two US-Americans. Their last meeting took place only two weeks ago, when Smyczek beat Frantangelo in the second round in straight sets en route to clinching the ATP Challenger title in Charlottesville. Fratangelo could lift his first trophy of the season, his first since Savannah last year.

Doubles Final Set

In doubles play, former Illini Ruan Roelofse from South Africa and his British partner Joe Salisbury defeated No. 2 seeds, James Cerretani from the United States and Australian John-Patrick Smith, 6-4, 6-4. Top seeded Indians Leander Paes and Purav Raja topped US-Americans Christopher Eubanks and Mackenzie McDonald by the same score.

The doubles final will begin at noon on Saturday at the Atkins Tennis Center. The singles final is scheduled to begin not before 1:30 p.m local time.